Turn 55 - A View From the Yard

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Turn 55 - A View From the Yard

Postby Moonsword on Sun 05 Jun 2016 12:56

Been a bit, way too busy at work, plus Turn 55 got derailed due to all the overhead. The Confederation Navy is just a little busy for some odd reason.

14 Herculis, Herakles, Herculis Naval Yards
Observation Gallery
2153 July 4

Qutaybah Gaber looked out at the starship already taking shape in the blackness beyond the window. Beside the tall, thin, an officer in the black uniform of the Terran Confederation Navy was waiting quietly if less than completely patiently, a junior lieutenant’s tabs on her sleeves and the insignia of the Bureau of Shipbuilding on her breast. Below it, her last name glittered under one of the compartment lights – Branson. After a moment, the older of the two looked at his younger counterpart, careful not to jostle within the zero-G environment. “What am I looking at?” the man asked.

The lieutenant was careful to hide her smile at the governor’s question. Gaber was a superb administrator, skilled at maximizing the returns on scientific endeavors and possibly the very best managers of a growing economy like the network of small outposts in 14 Herculis, centered on the planet below their feet. What he was not, however, was a specialist in military matters. Instead, she answers, “The Argo Navis. She’s the lead ship for one of our new combat frigate classes. A beam combatant.” At this point, the frigate was barely more than structural members arranged in the right approximate shape with a few key components like the heavy metal for her intertialess drive rooms. Heavy fabrication nodes that were more used to building civilian components for the Hercules-class type five freighters were rapidly shifting over to building military gear.

Gaber’s eyes narrowed as he reached for one of the grab bars to steady himself. “And the other side, it’s another class of frigate? Unarmed?” The man sounded a bit dubious – a criticism that had been repeated in civilian circles when news of the Navy’s heavily revised new building plans had leaked a few days before alongside the emergency appropriations and shifts in funding. As 14 Herculis was only one jump from Sol, it hadn’t taken long for the news to reach Herakles local space and as the governor, Gaber was entitled to ask certain questions.

“Sir, policy discussions are above my pay grade,” Branson hedged, still steady and at ease from experience being out in the construction gangs. At Gaber’s invitation to continue, she sighed very slightly and explained, “But the Vegas are sensor pickets. They carry large, extremely sensitive passive sensors. Sensors capable of spotting moving ships a dozen light-minutes away.”

“Don’t we have those sensors already?” Gaber replied. “I know we have sensor emplacements like that all over the outer system, every mining outpost has one.”

Branson nodded. “We have sensors like that at outposts. We don’t have any sensors capable of that kind of range that can travel with the fleet… or with our survey forces, which is how we got so badly surprised in Omicron Eridani, Sir.” At the lieutenant’s explanation, Gaber’s face turned thoughtful. “The Vegas are really being built this small for rapid construction so they can’t pack in the defenses the destroyers the Bureau really wanted could but sensor pickets will probably take less fire than a combat ship.” Gaber chuckled at that, then turned his head to watch the assembly in silence once more.
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